Marcus Rashford treated Manchester United supporters to a sensational attacking display during their side’s first leg 1-1 draw with Anderlecht in the Europa League.
The 19-year-old, who grabbed his first Premier League since September last weekend, took to the field with a real air of menace, terrorising the home side’s back four with his raw energy and desire.
Rubén Martinez could only parry his explosive shot into the path of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who duly handed Man United the advantage heading into the second leg with an important away goal.
A glance at the teenager’s numbers from the game illustrates just how effervescent he was in Belgium.
Marcus Rashford's game by numbers vs. Anderlecht:
100% tackles won
1 chance created
Always a danger. pic.twitter.com/wGh8gfp5tN
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 13, 2017
This was Rashford at his best: you could visibly see Anderlecht’s back four shrinking further and further as the Englishman incessantly poured forward from the left-hand side. By the end they had resorted to just chopping him down; Rene Weiler’s men knew that there was no legal way of stopping Rashford in this kind of form.
He was simply too fast for the Belgian side. Every turn, pass and run was done at a frequency that Anderlecht’s back four just weren’t used to. Rashford has always had the potential to churn out performances of such magnitude, but producing such a level of power on a regular basis – especially as a teenager – isn’t easy. This was, however, an encouraging precursor to a series of games that will see Jose Mourinho demand the same level of efficacy.